"Yo-ho, A Pirates Life For Me" – Queer Positionalities, Heteronormativity, and Piracy in Pirates of the Caribbean. A Queer Reading.


  • Heike Steinhoff




At first sight Walt Disney's box office hit Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl“ (2003) appears as a product of Hollywood's (hetero)normative blockbuster industry. It is a film that apparently caters for the needs of contemporary western mainstream audiences. Yet, as this paper will argue, the movie is fused with potentially queer elements, moments, and signifiers. Drawing on a broad working definition of 'queer,' this paper will present a 'queer reading' of the film. It will elucidate how Pirates of the Caribbean“ lends itself to such a reading not only due to the ambivalent and campy figure of Captain Jack Sparrow, but also due to the film's only seemingly classical narrative structure and protagonists. Moreover, it will analyze the figure of the pirate in the light of Foucauldian heterotopias.

Author Biography

Heike Steinhoff

Heike Steinhoff is a Master student of British/American Studies and Media Studies at the Ruhr-University Bochum. Focusing especially on Cultural Studies, she attended Ruhr-University Bochum and Utrecht University and received her Bachelor of Arts in September 2005. The title of her thesis was "American Superhero Movies in the Aftermath of 9/11: Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2." Currently, Heike Steinhoff is working as a student assistant at the Department for American Studies. Her research interests include representations of identity, the human body, gender, sexuality, and heroism in discourses of visual, literary and specifically popular culture.




How to Cite

Steinhoff, Heike. “‘Yo-Ho, A Pirates Life For Me’ – Queer Positionalities, Heteronormativity, and Piracy in Pirates of the Caribbean. A Queer Reading”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 8, Mar. 2012, doi:10.5283/copas.99.